The quality of superfoods

Are you interested in superfoods but wondering what guarantees the quality of these products? To help you, you can rely on well-known labels, such as the BIO label, which guarantees a production method that respects the environment but also our health. Other criteria are also essential to choose a good product, such as its composition, the manufacturer or supplier of the product, the origin ... This guide gives you some keys to choose your superfoods.

Quality criteria

Labels and certifications

The quality of the products is an essential criterion of choice and the presence of certain labels certified by recognized organizations allow to guarantee this quality.

The best known is the label AB for Organic Agriculture, it guarantees the absence of pesticides and synthetic chemical fertilizers in plants, but it also and above all ensures the traceability of products, very important when they are produced at the other end of the world! Organic farming is a production method that combines optimal environmental practices, respect for biodiversity, preservation of natural resources and the assurance of a high level of animal welfare. Thus, our superfoods are all organically grown and certified by Ecocert FR-BIO-01. Ecocert is a control and certification company approved by the public authorities. It intervenes in the field, either unannounced or scheduled, to guarantee compliance with specific organic farming standards.

The AB logo is issued by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry at the French level. At the European level we find the Eurofoil, which meets the same criteria as the AB logo.

Other organic labels also exist such as the Bio Cohérence label, the Bio Partenaire label or the Nature et Progrès label.

Quality control in the laboratory

It is important to verify the quality of our products and this is done through quality control in specialized, certified and accredited laboratories, which aims to verify :

  • The organoleptic characteristics (color, appearance, taste, and smell).
  • The nutritional composition (amount of nutrients that make up the food).
  • contaminants (microbiology, heavy metals, pesticides)

Each product has its own characteristics, which is why each batch is carefully packaged and controlled according to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and organic certification.

Information such as theLatin name or the origin of the products are also verified to ensure optimal quality and traceability of the products. Note that superfoods remain natural products and therefore variable depending on the climate, from one plantation to another, which is why the composition and organoleptic characteristics may sometimes vary somewhat.

Origin and choice of suppliers

Because the quality of the products depends on the quality of the raw materials, we rigorously select our suppliers. It is always preferable to choose a supplier, producer or distributor with whom you can establish a relationship of trust.

The preference will obviously be for European or even French suppliers and producers in our case, whether it is for the quality and regulatory, local economic or even environmental aspect. Our Hemp seeds for example come from a preferred supplier in Brittany. Other products come from farther away, such as Acai berries from Brazil or Goji berries from China. Indeed, it is often in their original country that these foods are the richest in benefits, although for some plants the culture can develop elsewhere.

Thus during the selection process, we tried to respect the region of cultivation of the products in order to take advantage of all their benefits and to value sustainable and eco-responsible productions. For each selected product, a follow-up and a traceability of the materials are ensured in order to guarantee the best quality.

Superfood labelling and mandatory information

Superfoods are subject to the regulation of foodstuffs and are therefore covered by Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011 known as INCO (INformation of the Consumer) of the European Parliament and Council. The mandatory indications for the labeling of superfoods are as follows:

  • The sales name, e.g., "Hulled Hemp Seeds".
  • The complete list of ingredients entering the composition of the product. These are usually listed in descending order as is the case for cosmetic products, for example. Allergens must also be mentioned.
  • thenutritional declaration with energy value, amount of fat, saturated fatty acids, carbohydrates, sugars, protein and salt.
  • the net quantity of the product by volume or mass must appear on the label.
  • the minimum durability date as well as the conditions for preservation and storage are to be specified.
  • Instructions for use or advice for use allowing proper use of the product.
  • if there are any special precautions to be taken, they should be mentioned.
  • more formal criteria such as the lot number, the manufacturer's contact information, name and address are required for traceability purposes.

Nutritional and health claims

A superfood should not claim to prevent or treat diseases. Nevertheless, it is quite possible to put messages on these products: the famous claims! These are non-binding messages suggesting that the product has particular properties. These properties are justified by a defined proportion of a particular nutrient in the food. There are two types of claims described in EC Regulation 1924/2006, nutrition claims and health claims.

  • Nutritional claims: these are any claims that state, suggest or imply that a food has beneficial nutritional properties through the energy (caloric value) and/or nutrients it does or does not provide. They are expressed in quantitative statements, for example "rich in iron", "source of protein", or in comparative claims "low in salt".
  • Health claims: these correspond to statements affirming, suggesting or implying a relationship between a product and health. For example, there are claims mentioning the role of a nutrient on growth, on psychological or behavioral functions, or on the sensation of hunger or satiety. There are also health claims related to the reduction of a disease risk or related to child development. For example, you can find this mention "Vitamin E helps protect cells against oxidative stress with its antioxidant action" or "EPA and DHA help maintain a normal and balanced heart activity".

Superfood states and preservation

Nowadays, we are aware that many of the foods found on our supermarket shelves undergo processing, refining and other transformations. Processed foods are above all the result of a massive industrialization of our food products. This has the advantage of lowering the cost of products, reducing preparation time in our kitchens or allowing a diversified choice. However, these processed foods, which make up too large a part of our diet, also have many drawbacks. By processed food we mean simple products to which salt, sugar, oil or other culinary substances have been added, such as canned food, ham, cheese, etc... Not to mention ultra-processed foods which also contain a good number of additives and other ingredients without any nutritional value. Their disadvantages seem quite obvious, especially from a health point of view...

The state of superfoods

This brings us back to fundamental things, eating foods as close to nature as possible, namely non or minimally processed foods obtained directly from plants or animals, 100% natural therefore. Among them we therefore find our famous superfoods. And in this same perspective, it is important to bet on products as raw as possible because it is in this state that they keep at the maximum of their nutritional wealth. The famous vitamins, minerals, enzymes, proteins or other nutrients can lose a large part of their nutritional value under the effect of certain heat or chemical treatments.

Thus during the drying, dehydration or freeze-drying processes, superfoods have not undergone any heat treatment in excess of 42°C. This mention is important because it is considered that beyond 42°C, most nutrients start to be deteriorated by heat and therefore lose nutritional benefits.

Preservation processes

The dehydration and drying involves the partial or total removal of water from the food. In this way, microbiological risk is greatly reduced and most chemical or enzymatic spoilage reactions are slowed. These techniques thus allow for better food preservation. Dried fruits have the particularity of being much more concentrated in nutrients, we can thus find up to 3 to 5 times more calories, carbohydrates or minerals than in a fresh fruit.

The lyophilization is a dehydration process that removes water from a food, using a very low temperature (-20°C) and vacuum. The process keeps the taste, freshness and color intact. It allows preserving 80% of vitamins and enzymes, mainly carotene, anthocyanins and vitamin C. This technique is reserved for high-value foodstuffs such as acai or acerola, for example.

To preserve the organoleptic and nutritional qualities of superfoods, it is important to store them in a cool, dry place and away from light.